Knowing where to begin when looking to scale your startup can be a bit of a struggle to say the least. There are countless blogs, YouTube videos, webinars and podcasts available, providing you with a plethora of industry insights into how you can grow your startup business and increase your return on investment in a short space of time. So, if the market for business scaling advice is so saturated, where do you begin?
The trick is to take it back to basics, and focus on the two key points: trends and people.
No matter which industry or sector your startup is a part of, you need to keep your eye on what’s going on at all times. If you fall behind on what’s happening in the market, how will you ever be able to grow the business?
When going to market, it is vital that you research the competition - not only do you need to know who you’re up against, but you also need to see what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Do your competitors cover a broad range of services, or are they more niche? Are their customer or client services bespoke, or specific? Are they particularly active on social media? If so, how are you going to target their followers with your services?
Along with monitoring your competitors, be sure to also keep an eye on industry influencers and publications. Sign up to weekly newsletters or monthly webinars in your sector to stay in the know (and be sure not to overwhelm yourself - too many sign-ups can result in an overloaded inbox!) If you’d rather not sign up to anything, be sure to follow the biggest industry influencers on social media so you can tap into what they’re saying whenever you have time.
Don’t forget: when it comes to business, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Regardless of the industry trends you are monitoring, if you try to take on too many things at once, you’ll stop moving. In order to scale your business, start somewhere simple; and make sure you can measure your performance.
Invest in your niche
Knowing where you sit in the market is one of, if not the most, important part of scaling a startup. For example, if you are a tech startup, what product or services do you offer? Are you trying to cover too many options to begin with? If so, scale it back - focus on growing one specific area first, and when that part of your business is successfully ticking over, you can begin to look at which other remits you’d like to expand into.
As well as following industry leaders and trends, start to create some brand awareness by also creating your own valuable marketing content. It doesn’t have to be anything particularly time consuming or difficult to create - just get your brand name known, and make sure you have something to say.
If there is a particular topic you are interested in talking about (for example, if you are an accounting startup, you may want to discuss how businesses manage their finances post-Covid) you could create a short video offering two or three key pieces of advice, free of charge. Alternatively, you could create a webinar for people to sign up to where you will be discussing the topic you feel will resonate well with your target audience, and that way you will also be able to follow up with those people who signed up when the webinar is complete. Lead generation doesn’t have to mean huge numbers - it could simply be five potential clients who you can have conversations with, simply on the back of you discussing an industry topic related to your services.
Don’t forget to follow relevant hashtags on LinkedIn; that way, you can add comments to relevant posts and begin interacting with people in your target industry. Increasing engagement on LinkedIn is something most startups don’t prioritise, despite it being an entire database of industry professionals.
Read more in our next blog
Along with industry trends and investing in your niche, there is one key element to scaling your startup and growing your company, and that is the people you have working for you. Keep an eye out for the next WSH blog where we will be discussing how important it is to hire the right talent, not simply based on their skillset, but also on whether they are the best cultural fit.